Sixty-five of the smartest minds in sport science across Australia and New Zealand shared one room – the Champions Room at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre – on Thursday, October 31st for the inaugural Catapult Performance Workshop.
A vital component of the community of Catapult users worldwide, the Performance Workshop provided a unique avenue for networking, sharing ideas, and discussing athlete analytics applications – the all-important final step of gaining insight from infinite amounts of performance data.
The workshop kicked off with a presentation of Catapult’s three big technologies about to launch: ClearSky, the world’s first local positioning system for sport; OpenField, Catapult’s new athlete analytics platform; and the new GNSS athlete tracking device, the OptimEye S5.
Sharing the precision of the S5 from recent internal validation (with images of raw traces from testing at the MCG), and the ruggedness of the device and its charge case, the presentation also demonstrated the excitement of being able to track athletes under a roof to within 15cm. With an Alpha-version of OpenField available on a side table, and a full charge case of 28 OptimEye S5s, attendees got hands-on with the next level of athlete analytics.
The morning keynote speech was presented by Dr. Paul Gastin – Research Program Leader at the Centre for Exercise and Sports Science at Deakin University, who has worked previously at UK Sport, the Victorian Institute of Sport, the University of Ballarat, and supervises numerous PhD students. Dr. Gastin gave an excellent presentation on his extensive applied research, particularly for Australian football.
A key part of the Performance Workshop was the roundtable discussions run concurrently by eight moderators that are experts in their field:
PlayerLoad as a marker of training load/fatigue Rob Aughey, Senior Lecturer in Exercise and Sport Physiology, Victoria University
Athlete tracking applications for team sport conditioning Denise Jennings, High Performance Manager, Australian College of Basketball and Elite Golf
Data analysis/methodologies using GPS in soccer Matthew Varley, Lecturer in Exercise and Sport Physiology, Victoria University
GPS within field of talent identification James Veale, Talent Conditioning and Information Manager, AFL Academies
Development of algorithms and intelligent data analysis Michael Regan, Product Development Manager, Catapult
Repeat High Intensity Efforts Tim Gabbett, Senior Lecturer in School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University
Use of athlete tracking data as benchmark for performance John Quinn, Head of Sport Science, Greater Western Sydney Giants
Advanced analysis using Catapult data Alec Buttfield, Sport Science Consultant, BioAlchemy
Catapult had three sport scientists in attendance – including James Malone from the London office – to help bridge the gap between users and the Catapult engineers that innovate new technologies, which has led to numerous key ideas that will be implemented in to future generations.
In total, the Performance Workshop featured representatives from 16 Australian Football League (AFL) teams, 17 people from interstate or overseas, at least 18 people with PhDs, and several networking drinks to close out the evening.